Jack London (1876-1916) was an American author best known for his adventure novels and short stories. He was also one of the first Americans to make a lucrative career exclusively from writing. Twice (in 1901 and 1905) he ran for mayor of Oakland, CA, as a socialist. When he was 21 he went to the Yukon Territory to prospect for gold during the Klondike Gold Rush; this served as inspiration for some of his most famous works, such as "To Build a Fire" and ''The Call of the Wild''. He also worked as a journalist, penning a memorable [[http://london.sonoma.edu/Writings/Journalism/sfearthquake.html eyewitness account]] of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
London died of kidney failure, with morphine addiction and severe alcoholism as contributory causes, in 1916. He was an extremely prolific author, releasing dozens and dozens of novels, stories, short story collections, and poems over a 20-year career.
London's best known works include:
* ''Literature/TheCallOfTheWild'' (1903, novel)
* ''Literature/TheSeaWolf'' (1904, novel)
* ''Literature/WhiteFang'' (1906, novel)
* ''Literature/ToBuildAFire'' (1902, short story)
* ''The Iron Heel'' (1908, novel), a dystopia work which documents the rise of fascism in the United States.
* ''John Barleycorn'' (1913, memoir) A confessional autobiography about his lifetime as an [[TheAlcoholic alcoholic]]. One of the first memoirs to paint the subject in a negative, as opposed to a heroic light. TropeNamer for PinkElephants, not only in this Wiki, but in RealLife too.